Title: Strong Signal (Cyberlove #1)
Author: Santino Hassell, Megan Erickson
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 15th 2016
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.
*Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger*
So…Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson wrote a book. Together!
This story is just the right combo of sweetness and grit. It’s Erickson’s soft and sweet voice , with characters who have the amazing ability to empathize, mixed with Hassell’s raw and gritty style, with imperfect yet real heroes.
First things first, go to the tumblr page that the authors created specifically for this book:
This was Kai. Isn’t he gorgeous, adorable and funny as hell? Gamer, ex dancer, and red panda lover. A recluse who hasn’t left his apartment in years, because “anxiety was a bitch. And he was its bitch(his words).
Kai is very talented and has his own Twitch channel with a very big and loyal following . This is how he earns his livelihood.
Garrett is an army mechanic, stationed in Afghanistan. He’s counting down the months until the end of his deployment and he plays computer games during the night, to escape boredom and loneliness.
It all starts with a killing; Kai’s character kills Garrett’s archer, aka Hazzard, and the rest is history.
This is the beginning of an online friendship. As time goes by, this friendship turns into so much more. There are long conversations, heartfelt discussions, funny banter and steamy -oh so steamy- Skyping sessions. It felt like these two already knew each other, before they met in real life.
But this can only be true to a certain extent. In real life, Garrett and Kai have obstacles to overcome, like distance, Kai’s anxiety and Garrett’s need to find a job.
Kai and Garrett’s relationship felt real, with no OTT drama when the circumstances provided plenty, and I really appreciated that. I loved Garret’s protectiveness of Kai and the way he stood by him. Giving him space, but always there! Their connection and chemistry was amazing.
The story also addresses important issues (which is something I’m used to from the authors, especially Santino), like veteran unemployment or living in a place where the unemployment rate is so crazy high, it makes you feel hopeless and helpless (and boy…do I sympathize with that).
All the love and all the stars for this book! Highly recommended!
P.S The authors might have found the perfect Kai, but Natasha Snow had the perfect Garrett. What an amazing cover!